MINUTES OF THE COMPUTING
AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on
Monday, February 24, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.
PRESENT: J. Seel (Chair), J. Lim, A. Vyas, I. Murray, N. Collins, S.
Qureshi, D. Hill, C. Ferencz Hammond
REGRETS: P. Donoghue, R. Baker, J. Poë, F. Brown/C. Capewell, P.
Michelucci, J. Sills, T. Mann/K. Nugent, S. Kibria
VISITOR: P. King (Library); Len Paris (Campus Police)
Adoption of the Agenda
The Agenda was approved. (D. Hill/ J. Lim)
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes were approved with one amendment. (A. Vyas/N. Collins)
Business Arising from the Minutes
a) Recent Changes to laws concerning web accessibility issues –
D. Hill a reported that in the United States, section 508 of a law
concerning web accessibility issues, specifically deals with federally
funded websites. It requires that all federally funded websites be
based on W3C guidelines, which are at priority one level of accessibility.
He added that Canada has no such legislation, but that the federal
government promotes a policy whereby all federal government websites
have to follow a template, which requires accessibility. In addition,
D. Hill explained that those who feel they have been discriminated
against by inaccessible websites could launch a challenge under the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In response to a question, D. Hill explained that templates for website
creation can be downloaded on the Computing Services website. A member
also suggested that guidelines for accessibility and code validation
for websites be posted for those in the UTM community who are in the
process of building a website.
b) Update on computer thefts at UTM – A. Vyas and L. Paris
The Chair called on A. Vyas and L. Paris to report on recent thefts
of computer and other equipment at UTM. L. Paris stated that UTM had
been fortunate over the past three years not to have any thefts of
this nature. He explained that currently existing security features
in the 24 hour labs and in computer labs include closed circuit television
and equipment which is security armed or physically secured. He stated
that none of the thefts occurred in areas where such security measures
were taken. He gave a handout to the committee, which outlined the
dates, times and locations of the thefts. He stated that most of the
thefts occurred during weekend periods, starting December 16th, with
the last occurrence being between February 14th to 18th. Stolen equipment
included projectors, flat panel screens and various Dell computer
equipment, totalling approximately $36,000. A. Vyas remarked that
large computer monitors and towers did not seem to be sought-after
and therefore were not taken. L. Paris reported that Campus Police
had plotted the thefts on a map of UTM and found that all of the incidents
occurred close to exits and near stairwells.
A. Vyas and L. Paris pointed out two new security measures that were
being incorporated at UTM. The first such measure, Sonic Shock, is
an alarm which is attached to projectors, computers and printers and
once a theft attempt is made, the alarm is triggered, forcing the
perpetrator to carry a live alarm or abandon the attempt. The cost
of this alarm is $100 per unit. The second measure is a ceiling mounted
projector enclosure, by Aztec Security Products, which can also be
adapted to be mounted on carts and costs $600 per unit. It is recommended
that any department making major computer or projection purchases
utilize one of the above security measures.
It was also pointed out that engraving was another deterrent option,
with the advantage of easy customization per department. The engraver
may be borrowed from the Computing Services department. L. Paris also
added that Campus Police has introduced extra patrols, including plain-clothes
patrols, as an additional precautionary measure against further theft
attempts. A. Vyas emphasized to the committee the importance of backing
up documents and keeping them in a separate, secure area.
A member asked whether new buildings such as CCIT would have security
measures. A. Vyas replied in the affirmative and stated that they
would be very elaborate. The committee discussed the installation
of cameras on all exit doors, but it was explained that the costs
proved too prohibitive.
A member inquired about the progress Computing Services has made in
the development of an automated back-up system. J. Lim informed the
committee that testing was ongoing and implementation was on track
for March. He added that the new back-up program would be launched
with an announcement to the UTM community and the introduction of
a special user website.
Due to the Chair’s absence at the next regularly scheduled meeting
of the Computing and Data Communications Committee (March 17), the
date for the next meeting will be announced to members at a later
date following discussion at the upcoming Executive Committee meeting.
The Chair asked Joe Lim to chair in her absence if the meeting is
held on the regularly scheduled date and to report to College Council
on her behalf regarding today’s meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. (I. Murray/N. Collins)